The federal government shutdown is creating some interesting website outages and making it very difficult to track certain developments. With it still being hurricane season, it is difficult to get formal tracking when so much of the National Hurricane Center's website is not responsive. Now we have Tropical Storm Karen forming and threatening the Gulf of Mexico. The projected path suggests it could pose a threat to some of the Gulf of Mexico offshore oil rig infrastructure in the region, and that means that Karen is also a threat to cities located on and close to parts of the Gulf of Mexico coast.
The new development in the Gulf of Mexico has just become Tropical Storm Karen and is off of the Yucatan Peninsula. The movement has been north by northwest, but a cold front from the north is on the way to the southern central states and is expected to push Karen toward Florida over the weekend.
Weather.com said, "Hurricane watches are now in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to Indian Pass, Florida. However, these watches do not include metropolitan New Orleans." We have shown the projected path from the Weather Channel below, but we would make our usual note that storm paths often end up being far different from original projections.
The National Weather Service said:
Due to the Federal Government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable. However, because the information this site provides is necessary to protect life and property, it will be updated and maintained during the Federal Government shutdown.
The current projected cone path does indicate that Tropical Storm Karen will become Hurricane Karen by Friday but will drop back down to a tropical storm before making landfall over the weekend. Just like the projected path, these projections often do not end up being what is forecast, so stay tuned.
We have not seen any evacuation notices from the oil companies. That being said, it would be prudent to expect that at least some or much of the infrastructure out in the Gulf of Mexico will face shutdowns and evacuations over the next day as a normal precaution.